Critical ultra low-k TDDB reliability issues for advanced CMOS technologies

F. Chen*, M. Shinosky, B. Li, J. Gambino, S. Mongeon, P. Pokrinchak, J. Aitken, D. Badami, M. Angyal, R. Achanta, G. Bonilla, G. Yang, P. Liu, K. Li, J. Sudijono, Y. Tan, T. J. Tang, C. Child

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

23 Scopus citations


During technology development, the study of ultra low-k (ULK) TDDB is important for assuring robust reliability. As the technology advances, several critical ULK TDDB issues were faced for the first time and needed to be addressed. First, the increase of ULK leakage current noise level induced by soft breakdown during stress was observed. Second, it was found that ULK had lower field acceleration than dense low-k. Such process and material dependences of ULK TDDB kinetics were investigated, and an optimal process to improve ULK voltage acceleration was identified. Last, as the reliability margin for ULK TDDB of via-related structures is greatly reduced at advanced CMOS technologies, a systematic study of via TDDB regarding area scaling and test structure design was conducted. It was found that only a portion of the total vias possibly determines the low-k via TDDB. A new "fatal" via ratio concept is introduced to replace the as-designed area ratio for TDDB area scaling in structures with vias, and a methodology called shift and compare (S&C) is proposed to determine the "fatal" via ratio.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2009 IEEE International Reliability Physics Symposium, IRPS 2009
Number of pages12
StatePublished - 2009
Event2009 IEEE International Reliability Physics Symposium, IRPS 2009 - Montreal, QC, Canada
Duration: Apr 26 2009Apr 30 2009

Publication series

NameIEEE International Reliability Physics Symposium Proceedings
ISSN (Print)1541-7026


Other2009 IEEE International Reliability Physics Symposium, IRPS 2009
CityMontreal, QC


  • Cu interconnect
  • I-V conduction slope
  • Low-k TDDB voltage acceleration
  • Low-k hard breakdown
  • Low-k soft breakdown
  • Low-k via TDDB
  • Poole-Frenkel
  • Reliability
  • Schottky emission
  • Time-dependent dielectric breakdown

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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